Can I sued for damages if a pedestrian hurts themselves by hitting my vehicle after they negligently walked in front as I was about to turn?

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Can I sued for damages if a pedestrian hurts themselves by hitting my vehicle after they negligently walked in front as I was about to turn?

I was stopped at a stop sign. As I was just starting to turn, a pedestrian walked out in front of my vehicle. I stopped in time and did not hit the person, but the pedestrian did hurt her wrist when she threw her hands out in front of herself and hit the grill of my truck. She then demanded the police take her to the hospital to be examined. Can she sue me for damages, emotional distress, or pain and suffering?

Asked on April 21, 2012 under Accident Law, Indiana

Answers:

Robert Johnston / Law Office of Robert J. Johnston Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Anybody can sue anybody at any time for just about any reason. The question is whether they would be sucessful or not. Your situation is just like any other situation about one person suing another person. It all depends on the evidence and what the evidence would lead people to believe as far as what happened. "People" being a judge and/or a jury.

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It would be advisable to refer the matter to your auto insurance company.  When the pedestrian completes her medical treatment and is released by the doctor, she will probably file a personal injury claim with your auto insurance carrier.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bills and is determined by the medical reports which document the nature and extent of the injury.  Compensation for any wage loss is straight reimbursement.  Her personal injury claim will include the medical bills, medical reports and documentation of any wage loss.

If the case is settled with your insurance company, NO lawsuit is filed.  If the case is NOT settled with your auto insurance company, the pedestrian could file a lawsuit against you for negligence.  If that happens, your auto insurance company will provide you with an attorney at no cost to you and will handle the case for you.  Don't worry about it because most auto accident cases are settled with the insurance company without filing a lawsuit.  If a lawsuit is filed, it won't be for several months or possibly a year or longer. 


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